Designer digs and hip hostels: The best budget hotels in Paris

Hannah Meltzer
You'll find quirky design and a noteworthy breakfast and rooftop bar at Mama Shelter Paris - FRANCIS AMIAND

Paris is not known for its budget-travel credentials, but it is in fact a great place for free activities (especially in the warmer months), including park strolls, canal-side picnics, local gallery-hopping and architectural exploration. In fact, some of the richest experiences on offer cost nothing. Likewise, some of the city’s less expensive hotels are also its most interesting: think a dinky design-led bolthole on the Left Bank with a winter garden or offbeat lodgings in the arty east of the city. Here's our pick of the best budget hotels in Paris.

Hotel Ekta, Paris, France

Hotel Ekta

Paris, France

8Telegraph expert rating

Step out of the heritage norm in the 8e arrondissement with this bold design hotel, an ode to the Sixties and Seventies with its black-and-white graphic décor, which pays homage to Courrèges. The glamorous mirrored staircase lead up to modular-style rooms, which have a dashing, b&b look. The district is known for haute-couture shopping and the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, making the hotel’s fashion theme all the more fitting. No stay at the Ekta is complete without afternoon tea on the Champs-Elysées at the flagship boutique and salon de thé of Ladurée. Read expert review From £120 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Mama Shelter Paris

Mama Shelter Paris

Paris, France

7Telegraph expert rating

Escape the crowds at Mama Shelter's outpost in the east of Paris, and make a saving while you're at it. You'll find quirky design, a noteworthy breakfast and rooftop bar, in addition to the main bar and restaurant space on the ground floor, which is a lively social spot come nightfall. At night (on weekends) this space buzzes with DJs, dancing and revellers. Design aficionados will love the very fun and stylish rooms. There’s a vast selection of dishes at dinner, and the simple wine list has some great French options. Breakfast is excellent, a plentiful and carefully curated. Read expert review From £85 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Hotel des Grandes Ecoles, Paris, France

Hotel des Grandes Ecoles

Paris, France

7Telegraph expert rating

This family-run hotel offers old-fashioned hospitality in the heart of Paris’s buzzy and central Latin Quarter, on the same road where Ernest Hemingway and his first wife once lived. The shutter-adorned buildings create a pretty picture, set around a cobbled courtyard featuring climbing plants, birds and a lovingly tended garden. A few rooms have views of the pretty greenery and wysteria of the courtyard. The setting and familial feel give this address the character of a quintessentially French country guest house, unusual in a city increasingly dominated by chic new openings with hipster design credentials. Read expert review From £107 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Hôtel Jeanne d’Arc

Paris, France

9Telegraph expert rating

Joan of Arc languishes in style in a quaint 17th-century townhouse and has been one of Paris’ most sought-after mid-range hotels for years. A renovation has only made it better. It’s tucked down a pretty lane with bijou art and craft galleries and practically no passing cars, in the heart of the trendy Marais, one of the city’s most sought-after neighbourhoods. Bright rooms mix contemporary trends with 17th-century heritage, packed with many thoughtful design details. Don’t miss an early-evening apéro right next door with locals on place du Marché-Sainte-Catherine, one of the Marais’ most village-like ‘hidden’ squares. Read expert review From £106 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Hotel Henriette, Paris

Hotel Henriette

Paris, France

8Telegraph expert rating

This pretty little boutique hotel makes a cosy and romantic base for a city break in Paris, with some of the bohemian Left Bank's most charming attractions a short walk away. Expect a relaxed atmosphere and excellent design credentials. The interiors are an Instagrammer's dream. Colour blocked-walls and fresh wooden floors combine with splashes of pattern – think floral feature walls and dainty floor tiles. Rooms are inventively decorated in the hotel’s characteristic bohemian chic, Parisienne style. A very tasty buffet breakfast is served in a bright and pretty room overlooking the winter garden. Read expert review From £104 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Mob Hotel, Paris, France

Mob Hotel

Paris, France

9Telegraph expert rating

This lifestyle hotel, near the city's largest flea market in northern Paris, oozes urban flair. Design rooms are unpretentious, comfortable and effortlessly stylish; while the trendy music bar, organic farm-to-table restaurant and summertime garden buzzes with activity day and night. Films are screened here after dark and weekends usher in DJ sets, concerts, readings, barbecues and other vibrant cultural and social happenings. There are two rooftop sun terraces with chaises longues between raised vegetable beds. If you dream of lounging in style with Parisian bobos, this is the spot. Read expert review From £59 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Hotel Exquis, Paris

Hôtel Exquis

Paris, France

8Telegraph expert rating

This cheery hotel in the fashionable 11e arrondissement is perfect walking distance to some of Paris’ hippest bars, restaurants and designer boutiques. Surrealism is its theme and contemporary rooms showcase original art pieces against a backdrop of boldly coloured walls and modish vintage trimmings. Clementine orange, sage green, shocking pink and marigold yellow: colour schemes in the 42 rooms are as wild and fantastic as the Surrealists would have wanted. A generous buffet breakfast is served in the eclectic basement dining room with faux Formica bar. Service are facilities are as good as it gets in a three-star hotel. Read expert review From £79 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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YOOMA Urban Lodge, Paris, France

YOOMA Urban Lodge

Paris, France

8Telegraph expert rating

A dazzling façade designed by French conceptual artist Daniel Buren makes this new riverside hotel a contemporary work of art. The Eiffel Tower is just down the road, the chef cooks with veggies grown on the rooftop garden, and rooms are overwhelmingly family-friendly. There are 106 overtly functional rooms, split across two floors and sporting shades of red, yellow, blue or green. Larger rooms sleeping four or six guests have uber-cool cabin bunk beds or 'pods' with sliding doors that Le Corbusier would have wholeheartedly approved of. Read expert review From £82 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Les Piaules hotel, Paris

Les Piaules

Paris, France

8Telegraph expert rating

Les Piaules is redefining hostel living with its striking industrial design, comfortable double rooms and chic wooden-decking rooftop terrace. It’s located in the cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Belleville in northeastern Paris. The ground zero is a spacious, open-plan lounge bar and reception that buzzes with local life from the first café and croissant of the day until well into the wee hours. The functional dorm rooms sleep four to eight guests, but it is the double rooms with – en-suite bathrooms and Dolby Surround panorama of Paris and wooden terraces – that stand out. Read expert review From £94 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Generator Paris, Paris, France

Generator Paris

Paris, France

8Telegraph expert rating

Generator Paris – situated in the lively 10th arrondissement – is often booked out, and for good reason: it offers playful design, friendly service and an excellent summer roof terrace on top of the usual hostel facilities. It takes between five to 10 minutes to walk to the buzzy bars, cafés and shops on pretty Canal Saint-Martin, one of the best spots for enjoying Paris nightlife. The private twin and double rooms that are tastefully decorated with crisp white bedding, a desk and space to hang clothes; some have pretty terraces with views across the Paris rooftops (and even hammocks). Read expert review From £82 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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hotel du temps, paris, france

Hôtel du Temps

Paris, France

8Telegraph expert rating

This gorgeous little boutique hotel strikes the right balance between cool credentials and unpretentious cosiness. It is less than 10 minutes' walk from the Eurostar terminus at Gare du Nord and reasonably priced, making it an excellent option for a mini-break. In the basement, patrons can enjoy the use of a gorgeous little lounge space complete with natty rugs, record player and piano. Rooms are small but beautifully laid out, decorated, decorated with bright upholstery and characterful vintage fixtures. The excellent bar has a well-stocked drinks cabinet and capable staff– you can order on menu or ask for a surprise, based on your tastes. Read expert review From £111 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

Contributions by Rachel Cranshaw, Hannah Meltzer & Nicola Williams

Prices cited on Booking.com are subject to change in high season and during popular holidays and events.